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Calories in Cauliflower

Cauliflower, a filling and hearty vegetable, features among the most commonly eaten vegetables around the world. It belongs to the family Brassicaceae and the brassica oleracea species.  Vegetables such as kale, Brussels sprouts, collard greens and broccoli also belong to the same species; however, they belong to different cultivar groups. The name cauliflower is derived from the Latin word caulis which means cabbage. The cauliflower has leaves that help protect it from the rays of the sun while growing. It is because of this reason that cauliflower does not have the green chlorophyll like some other vegetables from the cruciferous family such as kale, cabbage and broccoli.    

In most recipes that use cauliflower only the white card (head) is used.

The thick green leaves that surround the head and the stalk are generally discarded or used for preparing a vegetable broth. Cauliflower is highly nutritious and is usually eaten boiled, raw, cooked or pickled. People on a weight loss program or a low carb diet normally find cauliflower a reasonable alternate for potatoes as it has a similar mouth feel or texture. A compound in cauliflower causes sulfuric odor to be released when it is heated. When the cooking time is increased these odors increase. To help retain cauliflower’s crisp texture, minimize odor and cut down on nutrient loss the cauliflower should be cooked for a short time.

So how many calories are there in cauliflower is the question. The calories in cauliflower are as follows:

  • Calories in cauliflower raw (25 g) – 8
  • Calories in cauliflower steamed (stalk and flowerets 100 g) - 23
  • Calories in cauliflower cooked – (stalk and flowerets 100 g) – 48
  • Calories in cauliflower mashed - (1 serving) - approximately 90- 110 (depends on the recipe)  

How many calories in cauliflower that is cooked usually depend on the serving size and the way it is prepared. For instance, 54 g of cooked, boiled and drained cauliflower contains about 12 calories, whereas the calories in 180 g of cauliflower that is frozen, then cooked, and boiled and the water is drained out is 34. Further, 66 grams of frozen cauliflower that is unprepared contains 16 calories, and 90 g of cooked green cauliflower without any salt added to it contains 29 calories. Also, 13 g of raw cauliflower contains only 3 calories. Cauliflower has a high nutritional density and is high in dietary fiber and extremely low on fat. It also contains water, vitamin C, and folate.

Here are some cauliflower nutrition facts. The water content in 100 g of cauliflower is 93 g, the protein content in 100 g is 0.45 g, the fat content is 0.45 g, the ash content is 0.6 g, the carbohydrate content is 4.11 g, the content of dietary fiber is 2.7 g, and the content of sugar is 1.41.

The calories in cauliflower (raw) are few, but for those who do not like eating this vegetable raw, try preparing this delicious cauliflower soup instead. The calories in cauliflower soup (serving size of 445.5 g) are just 141. The recipe is quite simple. To make two servings, you need to take one cauliflower head, two cloves of garlic, one cup stock (chicken, vegetable), one leek, one onion, half a cup of raw carrots, and half a cup of evaporated fat free milk. Add a teaspoon of olive oil to all the vegetables and toss well. Roast them till they are browned. Keep these vegetables aside to cool. Next puree them well in a food processor. Place them in a saucepan, add the chicken or vegetable stock and boil. Once it reaches boiling point, simmer it for about five minutes or so. Next add the evaporated milk and let it simmer for five minutes. Use parmesan cheese, truffle oil, green onions, or cilantro to garnish. As mentioned earlier, the calories in cauliflower soup are few, and this creamy cauliflower soup is extremely delicious as well. Calories in this cauliflower rice recipe are only 30. This side-dish not only tastes like rice, but also looks like rice. For this you need to grate a medium cauliflower in a microwaveable bowl. Sprinkle some salt in it and cover and keep in the microwave for about six minutes. It becomes sticky like rice. Next add some olive oil and butter.

Cauliflower Health Benefits

The health benefits of consuming cauliflower are many. Just like broccoli and cabbage, there are some phytochemicals present in cauliflower that are extremely beneficial for our body. Sulforaphane, for example, is an anti-cancer compound that is secreted on chopping or chewing the cauliflower. The ability of the liver to detoxify carcinogenic substances increases because of this compound. Here are some other benefits of eating cauliflower.
  • Cauliflower has certain phytonutrients with antioxidant properties that destroy the toxins and free radicals that are there in the body. These phytonutrients effectively help lower the risks of cancer.
  • Allicin present in cauliflower improves the health of the heart and also reduces the risks of strokes. It also helps maintain normal level of cholesterol in the body.
  • Cauliflower strengthens the cell replication mechanism and also improves the cell growth.
  • The high fiber content of cauliflower helps improve colon health and risks of colon cancer are reduced as well.
  • Cauliflower is useful in cases such as asthma, high blood pressure, arthritis, bladder disorders, and bad complexion.
  • Cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower contain indole-3-carbinol. This affects the metabolism of estrogen present in the body, and this helps prevent breast and ovarian cancer.
  • When combined with turmeric cauliflower can help prevent the spread of prostrate cancer.

Here’s an interesting tip:

Eating three cauliflower florets daily helps provide you with about 67% of your daily requirement of vitamin C. While shopping for cauliflower care should be taken to ensure that the cauliflower you pick has white tops. If the florets have purple or brown spots, it means that they are past their nutritional peak. If possible have cauliflower raw as you can gain the highest nutritional benefits from it. If you need to cook it, try and lightly steam it as this will help the cancer fighting components in it stay intact.

Submitted on January 16, 2014